Home NEWS 2020: Customs set to adopt Artificial Intelligence instrument to curb smuggling

2020: Customs set to adopt Artificial Intelligence instrument to curb smuggling

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Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) is set to deploy Artificial Intelligence Instrument for effective service delivery in 2020.

The details of the NCS was contained in the 14-page report of the 2020 Appropriation bill worth N1.678.715 trillion revenue and expenditure framework approved and passed by the National Assembly.

“The NCS 2020 budget leverages on information communication technology (ICT) tools as a major driver to achieve its budget in line with World Customs Organisation (WCO) Ten Building Blocks for Customs in the 21st century.

Consequently, the Service’s strategy to achieve its budget is anchored on computerisation, among others for effective and efficient service delivery that guarantees robust revenue inflows to government coffers as follows:

“E-Customs project: This is a modernised electronic business system which enables the NCS to perform its statutory duty and security functions by the efficient interconnection of all relevant trade ecosystem partners, agencies and regulators for effective trade facilitation and revenue generation.

“As a result of the e-Customs initiative, the ongoing automation of all forms of manual payments in every Customs formation is geared towards enhanced revenue and budget performance. Secondly, this innovation will further culture the integrity and sanity of the Service’s operations.

“The complete migration of all Customs’ Area Commands into NICIS II platform coupled with the introduction of biometric access modification with a definite drive towards strengthening the existing risk management structure. This development will reduce or eradicate the abuse and manipulation of the system and thus, increase revenue generation.

“The modification and automation or Excise and export platform in the NICIS II is aimed at enhanced revenue performance from these vital revenue-generating components.

“The installation of scanners at the various key Customs formations to further fast-track the processing of goods.

“The use of e-Customs projects for border surveillance through Artificial Intelligence Instrument in monitoring the borders Areas will effectively reduce smuggling and invariably enhance revenue collection. Then use of Passenger Entry System (PES) at the arrival hall of all international entry points will enhance revenue collection unlike the extant passage of passengers without appropriate assessment,” the report read in part.

According to the report which was approved at the Committee of Supply, the total revenue target for the Federation Account is N1.500 trillion while the sum of N178. 619 billion is expected from Non-Federation Account respectively.

Other expected income set for the Service include: N112.424 billion being 7% cost of collection for 2019; 2% VAT share worth N7.500 billion; 60% share of CISS worth N42.407 billion; Share of target surplus for 2020 worth N9.400 billion; Intervention funds for 2018 received in 2019 worth N17 billion and outstanding funds for ongoing projects worth N49.418 billion, totalling N238.149 billion.

The Legislature also approved an additional sum of N17 billion intervention fund (special); N4.128 billion Suspense Account for Customs.

The report further emphasised that the N238.149 billion above as contained in the Federal Government’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) would be utilised as follows: N98.606 billion (41.41%) for personnel cost; N15.952 billion (6.70%) for overhead cost while N123.591 billion (51.89%) for capital cost in 2020 fiscal year.

In the bid to boost its capacity, Customs is expected to recruit 3,200 cadets in 2020 in addition to the 15,892 existing personnel.

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